Recommend August 2011 - (Page 24)

escaping to san juan’s R sarah muñoz 24 august 2011 COnDADO Residents of Condado, one of San Juan’s most famous neighborhoods, know they live in the most convenient zip code in town. They can walk their dog in the park on their way to Walgreens, have lunch at some of Puerto Rico’s best restaurants and dance until the wee hours of the morning without having to get in the car. Visitors are just as lucky if they choose to stay here, even if just for a few days. They can shop their days away—leather satchels at Louis Vuitton, and boho dresses at Hecho a Mano. They can “om” their way into bliss in front of the crashing shoreline at La Ventana al Mar and then settle in for a martini, or, head to the very popular lobby bar of La Concha, A Renaissance Resort, for a champagne sangria and a chance to rub elbows with the celebrity du jour. And with names like Marriott, Radisson and Conrad lining Ashford Avenue—Condado’s main strip—there’s no shortage of great stays here. onsite review january 2011 eat, drink, be merry Days are all bright and fun in Puerto Rico, but the lights don’t dim once the sun starts to set. Come five o’clock on Fridays, you’ll find locals flocking to the nearest watering hole to decompress. In this part of the island, many will head to La Plaza del Mercado de Santurce just outside of Condado proper, better known as “La Placita.” If you stop by the morning after, you might not recognize it from the place where you bar-hopped and downed your weight in Medalla, the local beer, until the wee hours the night before, because, in reality, it’s a produce market where you can revive with fresh fruit smoothies or a bite of a juicy mango. Dining well is also part of Puerto Rico’s entertainment landscape. Foodies who follow celebrity chefs will want to visit some of Iron Chef finalist Robert Treviño’s eateries. Start with both classic and creative tapas at Bar Gitano and then move on to Budatai, which has become a new classic in Condado. It serves Asian-inspired cuisine married in Puerto Rican flair—the spicy tuna pegao (the island’s version of sticky rice), sushi and lo mein with crackling fried chicken are not soon forgotten. Treviño’s newest is Casa Lola, which adds a modern spin to classic local cuisine. “Our gastronomy is definitely one of our strengths as a world-class destination,” says Clarisa Jimenez, president & CEO of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA). “The taste of Puerto Rico’s cuisine is unique—that is why, since the 1970s, the island has become the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean. The combination of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2011

Editor"s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Regent Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: The Wayfarers
Africa Travel Options Mix the Classic with the New
Thailand's Koh Samui
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
Escaping to San Juan's Condado
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Central America: Roads Less Traveled
In Search of Flanders' Holy Ale
Downtown L.A. in the Thick of Things
Scrumptious Savannah
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Recommend August 2011